Negewo Jima, an Ethiopian, recently took to social media to claim he’s actually “longer” than a Ghanaian who was reported to be the tallest man in the world. Jima’s claim comes after BBC published an article about a local hospital in Ghana suggesting Sulemana Abdul Samed’s height was 9 ft 6in (2.89m).
Samed would have been declared the tallest man in the world if the local hospital was sure of his height. The hospital is not certain because it lacks the correct measuring tools, BBC said. And in a bid to challenge his height measurement, Jima took to Facebook to share a photo collage of himself and Samed, writing “never give up”.
“Bring him if you want – this guy will not be longer than me,” Jima also shared in an initial post. In an interview with BBC, Jima also said that from what he can see in the photos, he can say Samed is not “longer” than him.
Jima, whose height is 7 ft 4.6in (225cm), is said to be the tallest man in Ethiopia. In an effort to confirm Samed’s height declaration, the BBC reporter measured him. The result was 7ft 4in – meaning Jima is taller than him.
And though the reporter informed Samed that the local hospital‘s measurement was incorrect, the 29-year-old replied by saying he could reach the height of the world’s tallest man because he’s still growing. With a height of 8ft 2.8in, Turkish national Sultan Kösen holds the Guinness World Record for the world’s tallest man.
“I’m still growing tall. Who knows, maybe one day I may get to that height too,” Samed said. “Every three months of four months I grow… If you’ve not seen me for three months or four and you see me, you’d realised I have increased.”
Samed has been diagnosed with gigantism. The condition, which Cleveland Clinic says is very rare, “happens when a child or adolescent has high levels of growth hormone in their body, which causes them to grow very tall.”
“Gigantism is treatable, but early diagnosis is crucial to prevent excessive height and other complications,” the clinic adds.
But despite his diagnosis and health issues, Samed said he doesn’t have a problem with his condition. “That is how Allah chose it for me, I am OK. I don’t have a problem with the way God created me,” he said.